Goal setting is the backbone of effective marketing. Goals help us prove how successful we are, provide focus, and push us to succeed. And while we know how important goals are to measure our success, more than 80% of small business owners do not keep track of their business goals. Perhaps that’s because goal setting can be one of the most difficult things we have to do as marketers. While we all have hopes of what we want to accomplish with our marketing and business, that’s not enough. We also have to make sure that our goals are grounded in reality and can be used as benchmarks for future strategies and plans. This is where SMART marketing goals come into play.
In a previous blog post titled The Importance of Setting SMART Marketing Goals, I talked about what a SMART goal is and why you should be setting them for your business. Now that you understand why they are important, it's time to actually set your goals! This is a crucial step towards success but is something that is easier said than done in most cases. Chances are you have an idea of what you want your business to accomplish in, say, the next 12 months but actually solidifying that goal and taking steps towards reaching it can still be challenging.
This 6 step approach should help you set and structure SMART marketing goals for your business:
The goal of every marketing campaign is to show a positive ROI (return on investment). That's the name of the game. You want to spend a little money to get a lot back. A successful campaign will accomplish this, but what if you don't know if it was successful or not?
Simply, return on investment is the profit from a particular campaign divided by the cost of that campaign, usually expressed as a percentage.
ROI is a touchy subject in the traditional marketing world because with most outbound tactics it's very difficult to accurately measure ROI. As an example, when purchasing a billboard, the billboard company will be able to give you a DEC (Daily Estimated Circulation) which is the estimated amount of people that will pass by your billboard in any given day. This is great information, but how many of them are in your target market? How many sales were a direct result of your billboard?
Traditionally, the only way to get any idea of the ROI of your campaign was to have a separate phone number for that campaign, separate URL, or special deal if you mentioned the billboard. It's very hard to keep track of all of that and you're relying on your customers to act exactly how you'd like them to. What if someone saw your billboard that had a specific phone number to track that campaign on it, but they didn't take down that number and Googled your business for the phone number instead? You now have no idea that this customer was a result of your billboard ad.
Proving ROI is very important to running effective marketing campaigns. Let's dive in further...